Communicating Bad News with Bottom-Line Up Front Strategy

Topic: Business Communication
Words: 404 Pages: 1

When bad news pops up at the workplace, it is usually difficult for a manager to deliver them to the team members. When the technology organization’s leadership announces reorganization at the company, as a middle manager there is a necessity to devise communication strategies to deliver the bad news to the team members. Therefore, this paper will explore the strategy to deliver bad news, how often to keep the team updated, how to get the situation’s key message across, and explain ways to reduce challenges of distraction and gossip among the team.

To deliver the bad news, the Bottom-Line Up Front (BLUF) strategy can be employed. According to Nixon (2020) the manager should first begin with providing the exact and vital information as given by company’s leadership concerning the situation at large. While delivering the news it is important to offer a precise explanation of the root cause of the problem and decisions to be made. On the same note, it is essential to uphold authenticity and straightforwardness to help maintain credibility and trust. Therefore, the BLUF approach ensures clear and clarified message has been delivered thereby reducing the chances of misinterpretations and misunderstanding.

Team members need to be proactive in maintaining normalcy at the workplace therefore, it’s upon the manager to keep the team updated. Laying off workers is difficult and consequently, the frequency of updating should be a daily check-in lasting approximately half an hour or fewer minutes. In those updates, the middle manager should provide feedback from the leadership and respond to team members’ updates (Hacker et al., 2019). To keep the team productive whilst providing the updates, the middle manager should show empathy to the team members. In addition, making it transparent whereby the team members will be told what is being worked on and the reasons it came about, what goals are to be worked on. To reduce the challenges of distraction and the rumor mill in the team, it is important to nourish an open-door policy that ensures the team members are free to approach the manager with their concerns (Welch, 2015). Thus, providing clear and concise information and taking immediate action to address the gossip or distracting issue at the source instead of letting it fizzle out on its own. Therefore, it is of importance that the manager communicates the bad news in a BLUF way providing clarifications and updates the team on the progress being made.


Hacker, J., Johnson, M., Saunders, C., & Thayer, A. (2019). Trust in virtual teams: A multidisciplinary review and integration. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 23. Web.

Nixon, T. (2020). B.L.U.F. your audience with a great beginning [Video]. Web.

Welch, S., & Welch S. (2015). The real-life MBA. Harper Collins

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